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Focus Pad Workouts For Stronger Punches

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Martial artists and MMA fighters can greatly increase their strength and punching power

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by incorporating training drills using focus pads into their workout regimes. Focus pads are small padded hand-held targets. Focus pads normally fit onto the holder like a glove on the back with a padded target on the front about the size of your face. So obviously these workout drills need to be performed with a partner, but have many advantages over just using a heavy bag or Wavemaster for training. Of course working out with a partner or training buddy always gives you that extra boost, but it is important to have someone who really helps push you hard. For these exercises it is essential to have a training partner not afraid of taking the odd punch now and again if you miss as it is crucial they hold the focus pads firmly for your strikes to avoid you over extending and injuring yourself.

This should be a really high intensity, high energy workout. Give it all you have got. To really build strength your strikes on the focus pads should be delivered with knock out force blows. You can create any number of different drills and combination that work with your particular fighting style. Normally these will consist of jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts, but you can also throw in some elbows and knees to improve your overall combos too. Your partner should help by calling out the strikes either by name of number and continuously encourage you to hit harder and faster, and to keep going when you want to drop. These workouts are great for testing the power of your punches and improving strength by using the same muscle movements you utilize in competition. One sample drill would be: jab, cross, hook (left), hook (right), uppercut (left), uppercut (right). Repeat these combos for at least 2 minutes and switch. Remember like all of your strikes your real target is somewhere a few inches beyond the actual focus pad, to ensure you hit the focus pad with full force. When your partner is too scared to spot you anymore, then you know you are getting it right.

Not only will these focus pad workouts help your strength and punching power, but using these smaller targets will greatly increase your accuracy as well. Focus pad workouts and drills can also dramatically improve your speed as well, especially if you train using heavy gloves for added weight. Then when striking bare handed or with UFC gloves you will be able to hold your hands up much longer and be able to hit much faster. Practicing like this for at least 20-60 minutes several times per week will also greatly increase your stamina and overall body conditioning. So good luck & hit ‘em hard!

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Category | Training

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Randy Says:

    I like what you have to say Tony. If I had to make a choice, I prefer focus pad training over heavy bag work mainly because of the diversity of the drills you can create, the reaction skills involved and the fact that focus pad training more closely simulates the dynamics of sparring. The portability of the pads is also a great asset in that you can training anywhere (it’s hard to throw a heavy bag into your gym bag and take it to the park! ;-) . As much as I enjoy heavy bag training, I consider it a “supplemental activity” for when you’re training alone and don’t have a partner to hold the pads for you. Also many people find that focus pad work is not as hard on the body so you can train more often.

  2. Tony Says:

    Hey Randy,
    Thanks for the great comments and ideas. A lot of people don’t have a spot to even hang a heavy bag. One guy I saw on facbook said it had just arrived today and he hadn’t even thought about where he is going to hang it. He said he eventually tied it up to a huge tree in the backyard. So, that will probably slow down his training in the winter. I also agree with your “supplemental activity” thinking.
    Thanks!

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